Vildmarksvägen: a wilderness route in Sweden

In Sweden there is a beautiful wilderness route – Vildmarksvägen – about 500 kilometers long. The route starts at Strömsund (Jämtland) and ends at Vilhelmina in Lapland (vice versa). It is very suitable for nature lovers, but also for people looking for peace and quiet. The route is actually too big to cover in one day. There are a number of options to spend the night along the way. This can be done in a hotel, but also in the wild. There are several sights worth seeing along the entire route.

Contents

  • Vildmarksvägen
  • Precise location
  • Other names
  • When opened
  • Nature: flora and fauna
  • Stay overnight
  • Tourist information
  • Strömsund tourist information
  • Gäddede tourist information
  • Vilhelmina tourist information
  • Asele tourist information
  • Distance table
  • Sights
  • Waterfalls Hällingsåfallet, Brakkåfallet and Trappstegsforsarna
  • Hällingsåfallet
  • Brakkafallet
  • Trappstegsforsarna
  • Sami villages: Ankarede and Fatmomakke
  • Ankarede
  • Fatmomakke
  • Korallgrottan
  • Reindeer gathering place

 

Vildmarksvägen

The Vildmarksvägen is a beautiful high altitude wilderness route through beautiful nature in Sweden. One moment the road passes lakes, while the next you drive through wooded areas. Some parts are not far from the Norwegian border. The route goes a bit over the Stekenjokk plateau (876 meters above sea level). There you have a beautiful view of the mountains. Nature lovers, but also people who enjoy peace and quiet, can indulge themselves. The same applies to avid mountain bikers, hikers and even fishermen. The total tour is approximately 500 kilometers. The main road is a paved road. There are also several side roads, consisting of gravel, which take you even deeper into the wilderness. During the breeding season (from June 10 to July 10) you are not allowed to deviate from the main road. There are several sights along the way that are definitely worth seeing.
Stora Blåsjön / Source: ©sodrafStekenjokk / Source: ©sodrafbreeding season / Source: ©sodraf

Precise location

The Vildmarksvägen starts at Strömsund (E45) in the Jämtland region and goes via Stekenjokk plateau to Vilhelmina in Lapland and then back to Strömsund. During this route you will pass through three different municipalities:

  • Stromsund
  • Vilhelmina
  • Dorotea

 

Other names

The wilderness route is called Vildmarksvägen in Swedish, but the names Wilderness Road and Stekenjokkvägen also occur. The Swedish inhabitants of the Stekenjokk plateau in particular use the latter name.

When opened

The wilderness route is open all year round, except for certain parts. The road from Leipikvattnet to Klimpfjäll – via Stekenjokk – is closed in winter due to heavy snowfall. That part is open to traffic from approximately the beginning of June to mid-October (summer opening).

Nature: flora and fauna

The nature is beautiful. There are several lakes (these often end in vattnet or sjön in Swedish ), rivers and several waterfalls. In addition to different types of plants and trees, there are also different types of wild animals.
Plants and trees
The plants that occur there include cloudberries and blueberries. The birch is a common tree. In addition, moss can be found in some damp places.
Animals
Various types of wild animals live in the area. The animals that live there and may be seen are:

  • reindeer
  • elk
  • Brown bears
  • lemmings
  • arctic foxes
  • beavers
  • lynxes
  • wolves
  • various species of birds including
    • partridge
    • owl
    • hawk
    • falcon
    • snipe
    • grouse

 

Stay overnight

There are several places where you can spend the night. This is even allowed in nature, i.e. wild camping. It is also possible to spend the night in a hotel, guest house, stuga (hut), or a hostel. There are also a number of campsites where you can go.

Tourist information

If you would like more information about the wilderness route during your trip, you can go to a tourist office in Strömsund, Gäddede, Vilhelmina and Åsele.
The opening hours below refer to 2020

Strömsund tourist information

Address: Ramselevägen 6, 833 35 Strömsund
Phone number: +46(0)670-164 00E-mail: [email protected] hours: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Gäddede tourist information

Address: Storgatan 40, 833 61 Gäddede
Phone number: +46(0)672-10500E-mail: [email protected] hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Vilhelmina tourist information

Address: Tingsgatan 1, Vilhelmina
Phone number: +46(0)940-39886E-mail: [email protected] hours:

  • in summer from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • in winter from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m

 

Asele tourist information

Address: Centralgatan 35, 919 31 Åsele
Phone number: +46(0)941-140 78E-mail: [email protected] hours:Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm (closed from 12pm to 1pm)

Distance table

As mentioned earlier, this Vildmarksvägen goes from Strömsund via Stekenjokk to Vilhelmina and then back to Strömsund. The following distances can be covered:

Route

Number of kilometers

Complete tour

500 km

Strömsund – Gäddede – Vilhelmina

370 km

Vilhelmina – Strömsund

130 km

Strömsund – Gäddede

132 km

Gäddede – Stekenjokk plateau

87 km

Gäddede – Saxnäs

139 km

Dorotea – Borgafjäll

115 km

 

Sights

There is a lot to do in the area. People who love culture can, for example, visit museums or take a look at a real Sami village. Nature lovers can enjoy beautiful waterfalls and sports enthusiasts can go on long walking or cycling trips. A number of sights are definitely worth a visit:

  • Hällingsåfallet (near Gäddede)
  • several churches near Frostviken
  • Brakkåfallet (between Jormlien and Stora Blåsjön)
  • Ankarede (near Stora Blåsjön)
  • Korallgrottan (after Stora Blåsjön)
  • Reindeer gathering place (near Klimpfjäll)
  • Fatmomakke (near Klimpfjäll)
  • Trappstegsforsarna (near Saxnäs)

 

Waterfalls Hällingsåfallet, Brakkåfallet and Trappstegsforsarna

Hällingsåfallet

This waterfall is located about 18 kilometers before Gäddede (calculated from Strömsund). The road to it is indicated with signs.
It is one of the longest waterfalls in Sweden. This waterfall goes through a beautiful deep gorge and falls 42 meters. A little further on the river becomes calm again. In the summer period there is a very good chance of seeing a rainbow at the waterfall at the gorge. Tourists have been taken into account. There is a parking lot, a toilet and even options for a picnic. The path is asphalted, so it is also suitable for wheelchairs and people with prams/buggies. It is possible to get even closer to the waterfall. A 2.5 kilometer walking path has been constructed for this purpose.
Hällingsåfallet at starting point / Source: ©sodrafHällingsåfallet with beautiful rainbow / Source: ©sodrafHällingsåfallet as a calmer flowing river / Source: ©sodraf

Brakkafallet

This waterfall is located between Jormlien and Stora Blåsjön. A sign near the road indicates how to get to the waterfall. You don’t have to walk very far to get to the waterfall. The waterfall is about 18 meters high.

Trappstegsforsarna

This waterfall flows down in the form of a staircase. There is a large parking lot for tourists and it is even possible to have a bite to eat. This waterfall is located about 5 kilometers from Saxnäs.
Brakkåfallet / Source: ©sodrafTrappstegsforsarna / Source: ©sodraf Trappstegsforsarna / Source: ©sodraf

Sami villages: Ankarede and Fatmomakke

Ankarede

Ankarede is a typical Sami village. It is not inhabited. The local Sami are only present during peak times. So it is actually a traditional Sami meeting place. There are several Sami houses and a Sami church. Ankarede is not far from Stora Blåsjön.
Sami huts Ankarede / Source: ©sodrafAnkarede / Source: ©sodrafAnkarede / Source: ©sodraf Sami church Ankarede / Source: ©sodrafbinnenside Sami church / Source: ©sodraforgel in church / Source: ©sodraf

Fatmomakke

Fatmomakke was founded around 1700. Samis used to live there. Nowadays Fatmomakke is also a Sami gathering place. Just like in Ankarede, Fatmomakke also has several huts and a church. One hut is specially opened for tourists. You can get quite close to Fatmomakke by car. Then it is a short walk. Fatmomakke is not far from Klimpfjäll.

Korallgrottan

This is a limestone cave. The limestone has the shape of a coral, hence the name coral cave. This cave was only discovered in 1985. It is possible to visit the cave accompanied by a guide. This cave is located a little after Stora Blåsjön.

Reindeer gathering place

Not far from Klimpfjäll is a reindeer gathering place. In the fall, all the reindeer that have spent the summer in the mountains are gathered there. These reindeer belong to different Sami people. At this meeting point the Sami can ‘find’ their own reindeer again. After they have all been collected, they walk through a special gate into the waiting trailer. Then the Sami take their own reindeer to their winter home.
reindeer collection point / Source: ©sodrafvarious enclosures reindeer collection point / Source: ©sodrafspecial gate for loading reindeer / Source: ©sodraf